Death Penalty… should the state be killin?

demot-death-penalty

 

Yes, we are one of only a few countries that permit the death penalty.

Yes, the justification for the death penalty is pretty much that the person broke the social contract in such a way as to make them have to pay in a major way.

Yes, there are huge controversies over the impact of racism on the justice system, the fact that innocents have been convicted and executed by the state, and how we should compare costs for life in prison vs. death row… all of that is true of the death penalty.

BUT — there’s also this:  nobody, even those who think the death penalty should be extended, should also think it’s ok to torture someone like this person could have been tortured, for 25 minutes… 

It seems that the manufacturers of the drugs commonly used in executions have banned their use as part of the execution process.  That’s within their rights as private companies.  So, states are experimenting trying to find good substitutes — and, clearly, sometimes that experiment is more painful (or at least shocking to observe) than others.

At a minimum, if we think that there ARE crimes that justify killing the criminal, we ought not resort to the level of cruelty of some of the crimes (not all and perhaps not even most).  BUT, we do have some duties to the people we want to kill… namely, to do it as quickly and painlessly as possible.

 

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Filed under Applied Ethics, Business Ethics

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